Data Collection and Research

Beach Surveys and Biodiversity Study

beach survey_Christine
Chandler_volunteer on dock beach survey
Amelia with cages
beach survey at sunset
Beach Survey Cross Street from Cody
Ellen Grace beach survey frm Cody
Christine beach survey from Cody
Heike and Mike
Linda_Heike_Rose from Cody
Beach Survey in Pandemic
mud crab
Heike beach survey
Heike_Hunter grad student on dock beach survey
Orion_Chandler carrying equip beach survey
Oyster measurement 2
oyster measurement 3 from Cody
oyster measurement from Cody
oysters on wall with calipers
Paul_magnifying glass
oyster measurement 4 from Cody
Linda_Rose beach survey
Pipefish
Rose and Heike with oyster 11-8-19
Sally and Alana frm Cody
Survery during COVID from Cody
weighing oyster
Oyster Toadfish
Slipper shells
beach survey_Christine Chandler_volunteer on dock beach survey Amelia with cages beach survey at sunset Beach Survey Cross Street from Cody Ellen Grace beach survey frm Cody Christine beach survey from Cody Heike and Mike Linda_Heike_Rose from Cody Beach Survey in Pandemic mud crab Heike beach survey Heike_Hunter grad student on dock beach survey Orion_Chandler carrying equip beach survey Oyster measurement 2 oyster measurement 3 from Cody oyster measurement from Cody oysters on wall with calipers Paul_magnifying glass oyster measurement 4 from Cody Linda_Rose beach survey Pipefish Rose and Heike with oyster 11-8-19 Sally and Alana frm Cody Survery during COVID from Cody weighing oyster Oyster Toadfish Slipper shells

In order to identify the location and abundancy of oysters along the rocky and sandy shoreline of City Island, the first step is to document existing oyster populations, which is conducted by CIOR volunteers who perform beach surveys at low tide on a monthly basis. The object is to identify living oysters attached or not attached to substrate, as well as dead oyster shells, and all are counted and measured.

In addition to surveying beaches, volunteers have monitored the range of biodiversity in the waters around City Island. During the summer of 2019, 25 mesh plastic bags filled with cured oyster shells (generously donated by Coastal Steward) and securely closed, were hung at five different locations, each one facing a different navigational direction and expose to different water conditions and flow. Each cage was tied to a dock pole and suspended from the bottom but fully submerged at low tide. The different species they attracted, including oyster juveniles, were collected and analyzed. A wide range of species were counted, measured, and photographed—from invertebrates such as tunicates and bryozoans to larger vertebrates, including eels and blackfish, as well as oyster predators (mud crabs and oyster drills) and oyster toadfish, which feed on crabs and snails. In total, more than 900 animals comprising 33 different species, were counted and measured, enabling the establishment of a baseline for responses to restoration efforts at each location.  

Dive Surveys

Denis Mellett diving
Mike_RockyDiamondOpal diver in full gear
Dive Survey photo 3
Dive survey photo 1
Denis Mellett diving Mike_RockyDiamondOpal diver in full gear Dive Survey photo 3 Dive survey photo 1

In order to identify suitable sites for the eventual depositing of shells and of reef restoration, divers explore the shoreline of City Island and nearby locations to evaluate bottom substrate conditions. Naturally existing hard-bottom surface structure represents an ideal settlement surface for oyster larvae dispersed in the water during the spawning season and should be protected by our restoration efforts in order to promote reef enhancement.

Water Quality

Water quality fluctuates throughout the season and depends on location. Using water-quality measurement instruments, CIOR is performing real-time and on-site measurements of basic water-quality parameters around City Island and will continue to do so at regular intervals. This data is being explored and will be added to information available from other measurement stations near City Island, such as the EPA-approved Harbor Water Quality stations, and the monitoring in Eastchester Bay by Save the Sound and the Maritime College of SUNY. In collaboration with Save the Sound, the opportunity and feasibility of continuous monitoring of basic water-quality parameters using mounted data loggers at the proposed deployment sites are being explored. Parameters being measured by CIOR include water temperature, acidity or alkalinity of the water (pH), salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and water current velocity and tidal flow.

Oyster Research Stations

grp shot SUNY Maritime
BBD&Heike
feet with cage
Chandler and Heike
IMG_20190806_1337257 copy
rigging for oyter cage on mooring
PS175 teacheres_Chandler to BOP training
Rob Crafa_BD BOP cages
Mike with rigging for oyster cage on mooring
grp shot SUNY Maritime BBD&Heike feet with cage Chandler and Heike IMG_20190806_1337257 copy rigging for oyter cage on mooring PS175 teacheres_Chandler to BOP training Rob Crafa_BD BOP cages Mike with rigging for oyster cage on mooring

Oyster Research Stations (ORS): The first steps in CIOR’s restoration efforts have begun in our partnering with the Billion Oyster Project to deploy these stations at four strategically placed locations around City Island. The ORS cages are filled with cured shell material that has been seeded with oyster spat and are then attached and hung off two docks and two moorings. CIOR members and eco-volunteers are now monitoring the growth and mortality of the oysters in the cages on a regular basis.